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Sebastian Vettel's show run in Heppenheim: In a Formula 1 car through home

Sebastian Vettel's Showrun in Heppenheim
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How much did it mean to drive a Formula 1 car here in your home country?
V ettel: A lot. Who gets the opportunity to drive through the city in such a car and then through their own! It's really something special and I hope that a lot of people will come and that it will just be a nice day.

Is this 'home run' an opportunity to show the people in your home country what you have achieved so far have? Or is it more important to you to give something back to the fans and to offer them the opportunity to be closer to such a car?
Vettel: A bit of both. It's great to bring Formula 1 closer to the fans because you're a little further away at the races. You can really touch the car and just get up close and personal with everything. Driving in front of friends and family is of course another great incentive, but most of all, it's an honor to drive here. I'm glad that the city is doing so well and closing everything off for us: Because it's really something very special for everyone when a Formula 1 car is on the road outside the track.

You always make a very down-to-earth and reserved impression. Will you be embarrassed or uncomfortable when so many people come to see you drive?
Vettel: It is definitely not embarrassing, rather unfamiliar. When you drive in front of so many people you know, it's something extraordinary. But there are no major challenges for me, I'll just drive around a little and put on a little show. I think everyone knows the feeling when you have to give a lecture: It's a little more exciting when there are people in the audience that you know, especially when they are parents and friends, but I'm looking forward to it.

Has there ever been something like that with colleagues?
Vettel: Well, there have been show runs on the beach or in closed-off areas several times, but I don't know anything about someone driving in their hometown. Maybe, but definitely not here in Heppenheim.

Do you already have the Swiss accent or do you still speak Hessian?
Vettel: I don't think you can unlearn it so quickly. It is a bit of a shame that the dialects are quickly lost nowadays, also because high German is very important at school. That is of course before theMicro and the camera as well. But when I'm out with friends, there is a bit of peeling and dialect spoken.

What memories do you have when you come down from the autobahn and come home?
Vettel: Because I travel a lot, I am always happy to come home. It is of course great to fly around the world and see a lot, but as soon as I leave the autobahn and read the sign 'Heppenheim', it is different. Because you know you will be home soon. You simply enjoy your time at home more because it is limited and you appreciate time with family and friends much more.

Do you actually cook something special when you come home?
Vettel: Every now and then. There are just a few things that only my mother can do really well. Some specialties, such as potato vegetables, may not be world famous, but I like them very much. But it's just like that: Everything mom cooks tastes good.

You get visits from guests who have never been to Heppenheim. What do you show them first?
Vettel: Of course, it's primarily about the show run. I think there is already a lot offered to the people here. On the other hand, people have the opportunity to get to know the city. Heppenheim is not a big city, but all in all a very pretty town with a beautiful pedestrian zone and a great old town. I think everyone decides for themselves how they want to spend their time, there are enough possibilities, I'm sure of that.

Nerd or class clown - how was the student Sebastian Vettel?
Vettel: I think I was a normal student and had fun, sometimes at the expense of the teachers. All in all I really enjoyed my school days.

It is said that you are an ambassador for the Bergstrasse. How did it come about and what are your tasks?
Vettel: That's true, but I don't have any special obligations. It's just a great honor for me and I was really happy about this appointment.

Heppenheim is actually not a big motorsport region. Do you think you can do anything about that?
Vettel: There are definitely people here who do motorsport, be it karting or motorcross. The region may not be particularly well known for it, but it may be very beneficial for the sport here if there is someone who is at the forefront. That was the case with me in the mid-90s. A lot of children went karting because of the enthusiasm for Michael Schumacher and it would certainly be nice for the youngsters if more children were interested in it today. But in the end, everyone has to find the right thing for themselves that is fun.

You willwhen you come home always warmly received or are there also envious people?
Vettel: I don't actually notice envy at all. Of course, in cities like these, which are relatively manageable, there are always people who you can't please or who don't like you, but that's completely normal. All in all, the relationship with everyone is very positive - I get patted on the shoulder or after a bad result I get advice, but I really can't complain about anything.

Are you still the Hessian boy at heart or are you a global player who can be at home anywhere?
Vettel: I don't see myself as a global player at all. My home and my roots are here and I think it is very important not to forget where you come from. And thanks to my parents' house, there is absolutely no danger in this area.

In Formula 1 you certainly have a lot of obligations. Does this glamor annoy you in the long run or do you like to take it with you?
Vettel: Well, Formula 1 itself is simply a glamorous world, but as long as it stays within a reasonable framework, I don't mind. The thing that I enjoy most is driving anyway. Of course, you know that some things are simply part of Formula 1, and there can be days when it's a bit exhausting, but in the end you accept it To be able to drive such a great car.

The interview was made available to us by Sebastian Vettel.

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